Berlin - Schalke 04 captain Benedikt Howedes will stay at Schalke 04 next season despite offers for Germany's World Cup winning defender, sports director Horst Heldt said on Monday.
"Benedikt Howedes will remain at Schalke," Heldt told reporters at the official presentation of new coach Andre Breitenreiter. "There were two offers from abroad. We are happy he decided to stay here."
The 27-year-old international has a buyout clause in his contract that runs to 2017 with several major European clubs, including Arsenal, reportedly interested.
Breitenreiter, who last week succeeded sacked Roberto Di Matteo, said Howedes was key as Schalke sought to rebuild a competitive squad for next season.
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"It is very important for me to have a player like Hoewedes on my side," the former Paderborn coach said.
Di Matteo left after a disappointing domestic season with Schalke finishing sixth in the Bundesliga and playing in the Europa League next season.
"We have to find our unity again both on and off the pitch," said Breitenreiter. "Only then can we play successful football again.
"We have top players and when they rediscover their belief in their strengths they will then show their full potential."